How Does Dyspraxia Affect Adults?
Often dyspraxia is assumed to only affect children. However children with dyspraxia do become adults with dyspraxia and adult life throws up more challenges such as cooking, which can prove to be daunting to an adult who has dyspraxia.
On the bright side, many adults discover ways round the difficulties they had as children - with the right support and understanding, dyspraxia may be less of a problem to adults. Adult life provides the chance to use our strengths and show our individual characters without being made to feel unaccepted by others.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DYSPRAXIA IN ADULTS
The primary symptom of dyspraxia is poor motor planning leading to difficulties with co-ordination, which can vary from mild to very severe. For example,
Perceptual difficulties - tendency to fall, trip over and bump into things
Difficulty using equipment such as tin openers, scissors
Difficulty with performing simple tasks such as putting paper into an envelope
Organisational difficulties including workload, housework, leisure time
Difficulty learning new complex skills, such as driving a car, dancing
· Speech difficulties
Adults with dyspraxia can also experience other difficulties. These include:
Relationship difficulties - for example, difficulties fitting into new groups, problems understanding body language. The result is that adults can become isolated and withdrawn. Those who have dyspraxia often try too hard to make relationships work.
Of course everybody experiences the above difficulties to some extent.
However adults who have dyspraxia are more likely to show the above symptoms often, rather than sometimes.
As awareness of dyspraxia is relatively new, we also receive many requests for diagnosis. Dyspraxia is a neurological and therefore medical condition. Your G.P. can refer you to a neurologist or clinical psychologist for an assessment.
The Dyspraxia Connexion has an adult support group that meets monthly, computer club for adults, an adult newsletter (the Next Step) and organises outings, activities and conferences.
Please contact us at the address below for more details or to receive a copy of the DC Newsletter. A full information pack on Dyspraxia in Adult Life is available for £2.50 including postage. Please make cheques payable to Dyspraxia Connexion.
Colin Morrison/Anne Taylor